State Senator Roderick Wright has been granted a third extension for sentencing after being convicted in March on 8 felony counts of perjury, false declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting.
Sentencing, which was supposed to take place later this month, has now been moved to September 3. After his conviction, Wright took a voluntary leave of absence, then was suspended from the Senate, along with two other Democratic senators who are facing federal charges. Wright faces up to 8 years and four months in prison.
A jury determined earlier that Wright did not live at his home in Inglewood, within the district he represented and was registered to vote, when he filed for his re-election. Eyewitnesses reported regularly seeing the senator at his home outside his district in Baldwin Hills. According to Wright’s tenant in Inglewood, he was never seen spending a night at the property.
Wright’s defense team argues that the law requiring an elected official to live within his district is ambiguous. They say there is confusion over the meaning of the words “domicile” and “reside.”
Lawyers are making a case for a retrial. Since the conviction, a legal defense fund has been established to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from various special interest groups.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg and Senate GOP Leader Bob Huff failed to have Wright removed. Although suspended, the senator continues to occupy his seat and receive his $7,500-plus monthly salary. Meanwhile, Inglewood constituents and others within Wright’s 35th District have no voting representation in the State Senate, and no special elections have been set to put candidates on the ballot to replace him.